The polar vortex has turned me into a hermit. I had a good reason to return to the world last night to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We were treated to a reserved space at HopCat. If you love beer (Grand Rapids is Beer City USA) and you haven’t been to this place, you’ve got to try it. Go early! This place fills up quickly. Above is our view from the upper loft.
I haven’t been out photographing much lately, so I thought I’d post a photo I took back in May while I was in downtown Chicago. I brought my daughter down to visit Columbia College where I studied photography in the late ’90s. While facing west we could see fog seeping into the city, which is what you see in this photograph.
February in Michigan can be brutal. We are usually knee deep in snow (as we are now) and the sight of sunshine is scarce. Today we decided to make a family trip to get some some fresh, chilled air and to visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum. It actually was sunny today, and it felt great to break up the routine.
For those who don’t know, I work full-time doing design work for a cool, locally owned company here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was for that reason that I was excited to see that the current exhibit at GRAM is Graphic Design – Now in Production with an accompanying exhibit Stephen Frykholm: Herman Miller Picnic Posters. My husband worked for Herman Miller in the Graphic Printing Arts Department from 1986-1992 as the Senior Graphic Typographer. He has stories about his experiences working with Frykholm, so this was a pretty cool exhibit for him to attend as well. Our daughter tagged along, and I’m pretty sure she was just thrilled to be out of the house after a week-long illness.
I recommend the current exhibit at the GRAM. I believe that the Frykholm exhibit absolutely outshines the Graphic Design exhibit though. The graphic design exhibit was informative, but not particularly inspiring. Frykholm used this 20 year long poster project as an outlet for his creativity. I particularly enjoyed looking at the posters chronologically to see how they built upon each other to create a whole body of work.
Sundays at the GRAM are great. If you arrive right when they open at noon, you pretty much have the place to yourself. There is also a live concert series that runs every Sunday from 2-3p.m. The best kept secret is that if you are an early bird as we were, you can listen to the musicians warm up and practice as if it is your own personal performance. It is a cool thing to experience is such a great space.
This family had a great afternoon out enjoying one of the many things our fair city has to offer.
I recently met up with some good friends for dinner on Wealthy Street (Grand Rapids, MI). I lived at the corner of Wealthy and College about 12 years ago. Back then it was still a fairly gritty part of town. I have many stories about my experiences there, and none of them are bad. Even back then this area had a real charm to it. The homes are gorgeous. The famous Meyer May house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was just around the corner. The street is mostly still brick. I often thought about what this area was like back in the time of horse and carriage. That apartment still is at the top of my list of favorite homes I have had.
When I was leaving this neighborhood I could see the glimmer of renewal taking place. The liquor store a couple of blocks east has just been replaced by the Wealthy Street Bakery. Today this area is filled with locally owned eateries, shops and coffee houses. My favorite apartment is now a luxury condo.
I was early meeting my friends so I took a minute to shoot a couple of photos: